By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza
The country’s quasi-religious body, the public affairs committee (PAC) today met the leadership of the Malawi electoral commission (MEC) in a bid to bring about the lasting solution to the May 21 post-election stalemate.
In an interview after the two hours closed meeting, team leader for PAC mediators Archibishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese of the Catholic Church described the meeting as constructive, saying it focused on issues of national interest and electoral reforms as expected.
“It has been a successful meeting as we discussed issues on electoral reforms so as to make elections results accepted by all the competitors and avoid the aftermath fighting’s,” said Msusa.
Msusa, who could not divulge more on the agenda of the meeting, said the meeting marked the final first round series of meetings the body has lined up as part of the mediation efforts to resolve the post-election stalemate.
The archbishop disclosed that president Petre Mutharika, Lazarus Chakwera, Saulos Chilima and the leadership of HRDC were among the stakeholders that sent the committee to discuss with the electoral body on issues to do with the elections outcome.
He said after meetings, the leadership of the electoral body would engage the parties in post-election scuffle to discuss what their opponents raised.
“We will now go back to the leaders of the parties to discuss issues on what other leaders have raised in the meetings before we come again with second round of mediation talks,” said Msusa.
Msusa, who said his committee would come with the final resolution after the meetings, however, could not indicate when the meetings would end, saying it would depend on the commitment of the leaders.
In an interview, the chairperson for Malawi electoral commission (MEC) Jane Ansah refused to divulge details of the meeting’s agenda.
“We actually discussed what Pac wanted us to discuss, or what others told Pac to discuss with us” she answered while keep on skipping questions from reporters.
The meeting was initially arranged for Mount Soche hotel but was later shifted to Mec headquarters on security grounds.
The public affairs committee has since June this year met the Arthur Peter Mutharika of the ruling Democratic progressive party(DPP), Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi congress party(MCP), Saulos Claus Chilima of United Transformation Movement(UTM) and the leadership of the Human rights defenders committee(HRDC) on mediation process after the May 21 tripartite electoral results disagreements.
PAC is a mother body of religious associations such as the Episcopal conference of Malawi (ECM), Evangelical association of Malawi (EAM), Quadra Muslim association of Malawi (QMAM) and Malawi council of churches (MCC).
The committee was formed in 1992 during the country’s political system of government.